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Burnt Demandering

The Canberra Times reported that the ACT Government intends to replace both Demandering Hut and Max and Berts Hut; both of which were lost in the 2019-2020 bushfires.  What The Canberra Times DID NOT report was that this replacement would only proceed if the results of the community survey were positive.

So we need your support, the support of your family, your friends and anybody else you can wrangle to go to the community survey and vote YES.  Go to the survey at:  https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/namadgi-national-park-huts-proposal.

Surveys close in early February so we recommend completing the survey now.

To assist you with completing the survey we have provided suggested options for completing.

Suggested Options for Completing the Survey

Option 1. This is the quickest way to complete the survey. Answer YES to each of the four questions.  When you answer YES to each question a box will come up in which you can put comments if you wish. Leave the comments blank.  

Option 2. This is the recommended option.  Answer YES to each of the four questions.  When you answer YES to each question a box will come up in which you can put comments if you wish.  We recommend you add two comments for each question – the first comment being a general one to include in each question and the second comment relevant to that particular question. We recommend you use (i.e copy and paste) or paraphrase the following words:

The General Comment to include at each question is: 

I support the total project and all of its three components that are linked and are essential to implement together so as to achieve the maximum understanding, conservation, and interpretation of the retained heritage values of these two stockmen’s huts places and also the serial listing of stockmen’s huts within Namadgi National Park.  

Specific Comments relevant to particular questions are:

1. Demandering Hut    

Demandering Hut was associated with an important historic pastoral cultural route and also has social values for the associated families, the ACT community and to individuals. The new hut structure is designed to complement the interpretation of the site itself, not just with its size and materials etc, but also specific interpretation such as a sample of the square to round corner posts and saplings that together provide a physical interpretation to complement the interpretation that will be provided on the former hut site itself. The location of the new hut will be appropriately separate from the original but will still allow for a good visual relationship with the original site. 

2. Max and Bert Oldfields

I support a partial structure that while not being a full hut will provide an appropriate commemoration and interpretation of the form and use of the former hut and in particular its notable physical characteristics such as the large open fire enclosure that will now include a small and safe slow combustion stove. The location of the new structure will provide an appropriate separation from the original, but still allow for a good visual relationship with the original site and the landscape setting more broadly. 

3. Hut Site Research Project.

I support this project component as it will engage with family and associated community knowledge of the original hut sites to fully record and conserve both sites and to provide appropriate site interpretation. While this component complies with the ACT Heritage Council advice in relation to the hut sites and will lead to great site knowledge from the community and professionals working together, it is essential that it be undertaken in association with the new structures at both sites that will provide for the retention of ongoing contemporary social values and will also provide for interpretation opportunities in themselves in association with the original hut sites.  

4. Conservation Management Plan.

I support the completion of a CMP for the serial listed stockmen’s huts after the implementation of the first two project components as it will highlight the interconnections in the broader landscape of the historic huts and homesteads in Namadgi NP. The CMP will also focus specifically on the conservation role and responsibilities of the ACT PCS working closely with the KHA and include clearer guidance on the need for and details of regular maintenance and clarity of where such routine maintenance is undertaken with the knowledge and approval of ACT PCS does not require further ACT Heritage Council approval.

Option 3. This is an option you may want to use if you don't think the hut replacements go far enough.  i.e. you believe the huts should be full replicas, or you believe Max and Berts should be fully enclosed (the current proposal is for a fully roofed, two sided hut, with a fire place).

Answer YES to each of the four questions.  DO NOT answer NO simply because you don't think the replacements go far enough.  It will be too easy for the Government to separate your no from your comment and just present it as a blank no.  Still say YES and then explain what you would prefer to see in the comments.  This way the minimum outcome will the compromise that has taken 3 years to negotiate.  If you say NO then there is a chance you will get no replacements of any sort.